At last, Londoners have an "e-hail" option that they can feel good about.
LONDON, April 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- ViaVan, the joint venture between Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans, announced today the launch of its shared ride service in London. Through the ViaVan app, passengers will be seamlessly matched in real time with other riders headed their way, sharing their trip in a professionally-chauffeured vehicle. Launching across zones 1 and 2, the service will provide Londoners a much needed alternative to Uber, offering the lowest fares, better treatment of drivers and riders, and a corporate ethos that puts safety first. To mark the launch, for a limited time all ViaVan rides to or from zone 1 will cost just £3.
"Londoners deserve innovative transportation solutions that are safe, convenient, and affordable," said Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan. "ViaVan is a different kind of company: we have social responsibility built into our DNA. Our mission is to power truly dynamic mass transit systems, which reduce congestion in our cities while offering drivers the opportunity to earn a decent living. We are delighted to launch in London and to finally give Londoners an alternative to expensive and inefficient private car services."
The service will be powered by Via's world-renowned dynamic ride-pooling technology, which was developed initially for New York City, and which has provided more than 30 million shared rides globally, from Australia to California. This is the second city launch for ViaVan, following on the heels of its launch in Amsterdam last month.
By grouping multiple passengers into a single shared vehicle, ViaVan reduces congestion and emissions, providing an inexpensive, eco-friendly, and convenient transportation alternative. With the lowest prices in the city, ViaVan aims to "close the gap," serving as an affordable extension of the public transit system. Riders and drivers will benefit from 24/7 real-time support and drivers will take home more from every trip as ViaVan offers the lowest commission in London.
"Londoners are amongst the savviest of consumers, always looking for the right mix of quality, cost, convenience, and social impact," said Luca Parducci, general manager of ViaVan London. "Unlike competitors' pooling solutions, we're confident that ViaVan will be a huge hit - a comfortable and convenient way to get around that you can feel good about."
How it works
Using the ViaVan app, passengers select their pick up and drop off location and confirm their ride. ViaVan's smart algorithm enables multiple riders to seamlessly share a single vehicle. The powerful technology directs passengers to a nearby corner - a virtual bus stop - for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours that take riders out of their way. This enables ViaVan's system to transport a high volume of passengers while using a fraction of the number of vehicles utilized by taxis or on-demand car services. By powering efficient ride sharing, ViaVan will reduce traffic and carbon emissions in London.
ViaVan is a leading provider of innovative on-demand shared transit services in Europe. ViaVan was founded in 2017 as a joint venture between Via, the world's most sophisticated developer of dynamic shared rides technology, and Mercedes-Benz Vans, the leading manufacturer of iconic passenger and cargo vans. Working closely with cities and public transit operators, ViaVan powers dynamic shared mobility services that complement existing transportation infrastructure, and currently operates in London and Amsterdam. Through their partnership, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via are also collaborating on the development of advanced mobility solutions, from sensor technology, to electric vehicle fleet management, to autonomous driving.